Spring is in the air, and I've finally managed to get a little sewing done. It feels so good to sit and sew and finish a project in a single day. I wish I could do that every day, don't you?
My latest project is this cute, round purse I sewed using The Alice Bag pattern by Polka Dot Chair. The shape of this structured bag is fun and playful, and the size provides tons of storage inside a zippered closure. The fabric I used is the new collection Juxtaposey by Betz White for Riley Blake Designs. I love Betz' use of llamas, turtles, birds, butterflies, chickens, and flowers as well as the color palette for her prints.
Disclosure: I was provided the fabrics and pattern used in this post in exchange for sharing a project a sewed with them. All opinions are my own.
Several weeks ago, I sewed two cushions using my Round Cushion Tutorial pattern, and at that time, I envisioned making a cute little round purse by modifying my tutorial. The day after the Juxtaposey fabrics had arrived in the mail, I had planned to begin work on altering my Round Cushion into a purse, but that morning, I saw the release of The Alice Bag pattern by Polka Dot Chair. The Alice Bag pattern without the bunny ears is almost identical to what I wanted to sew, and rather than recreate something already out there, I used The Alice Bag pattern to make my daughter this cute purse and saved myself the time and effort of creating my own pattern and tutorial!
The Alice Bag was ideal for showcasing the large medallion design on this Juxtaposey print. I love the pop of green from the piping fabric and the matching green zipper which I bought in a kit from by Annie's last year. These zippers are #4.5 which have a wide zipper tape, large nylon coil teeth, and a large zipper pull--all ideal elements for a handbag.
I made my own piping using the green Juxtaposey Star print and some 1/4" nylon cording I bought from the hardware aisle. The nylon works great and won't shrink if washed, plus it is very inexpensive.
The Alice Bag uses Pellon Flex Foam for the front and back panel in addition to Pellon Shape Flex to give the purse the structured shape. Pellon Fusible Fleece is used for the zipper gusset and the bag bottom. To make sewing all the pieces together easier, I strongly urge you to trim the interfacing from the seam allowance after sewing to reduce the bulk which will help give the bag a nicer finished shape.
For the interior of the bag, I used the Juxtaposey Toss print which shows colorful versions of the animals used in the medallion print for the exterior. I installed the lining of my bag different from The Alice Bag pattern instructions by creating a separate lining that I inserted and then sewed to the opening using my machine and by hand in areas close to the zipper ends. I felt this method helped to reduce even more bulk from the seams and was easier to finish than by binding raw seams with bias binding.
At the time, I didn't have D-rings and a strap slider buckle that all matched, so I omitted the hardware and sewed the strap ends directly into the seam.
The purse strap is approximately the length of the width of fabric, maybe a little shorter, and works well for my daughter.
All-in-all, this was a fun, challenging project to sew. It took me maybe 3 hours to sew one day and was great practice for making piping and sewing circles! The Alice Bag pattern has thoughtful instructions and gives you multiple strap options, embroidery options, and bunny ear pattern pieces to create a whimsical purse ideal for Easter. Grab your copy of the pattern at Polka Dot Chair and be sure to check out the entire Juxtaposey fabric collection by Betz White!
|photo via Betz White|
|photo via Betz White|
Have FUN sewing!